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Vacation In Kansas? You Bet.

LEAWOOD, Kan., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With the weather warming up, kids getting out of school and summer plans coming into focus, many families are planning 'staycations' in addition to traveling to see family and friends. Staycations allow a family to save money while spending more quality time together and helping their local economy.

"In planning for the summer, there are a number of suggestions we have to help people save for the family fun that typically begins this time of the year," said Brad Smith, Kansas City President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "With many of us trying to cut back on expenses, the staycation trend has become very appealing and a great alternative to a conventional vacation."

If you're thinking that a staycation might be just what the doctor, and your budget, ordered and are ready to make some plans, M&I offers you some great ideas.

Behind-the-scenes tours Businesses get excited when people want to learn more about what they do. Search the Internet for no-cost tours available at local company museums and factories, as well as at fire stations and police stations. If parents ask nicely, they may also get their kids a tour of a movie theater projection room, the pinsetters at a bowling alley, or other places young people are curious about. Television stations, radio stations, and newspaper production facilities may also offer tours.

Museums, observatories, planetariums Art, science, children's, history... there are lots to choose from, and most have areas dedicated to kids. Plan an educational get-away; Kansas is home to several historic forts and museums. Don't overlook the galleries and museums located in many of the state's colleges and universities.

H2O for everyone Share the cost of a houseboat rental for a week with family or friends and relax on one of the state's 24 major reservoirs. Many of these reservoirs are part of a state park which will provide you beach and camping access.

Take a walk on the wild side Young kids love the zoo, of course, and there are several places throughout the state to get up- close and personal with mammals and birds of all types. For an easy day trip, combine a visit to the Sunset Zoo (Manhattan) with K State's Insect Zoo and display gardens. A visit to the recently opened Preston Forest Adventure at the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia will provide you a great example of animals found in a typical North American forest. Be sure to call ahead if you are interested in guided tours.

Especially for adults Did you know that before Prohibition Kansas was one of the top grape producing areas of the country? There are dozens of vineyards to choose from, many pairing special events with wine tastings.

Summer is a great time to take advantage of community theater and touring Broadway productions. A variety of music festivals take place throughout the state this time of year as well. Check with your community's Chamber of Commerce or Parks & Recreation Department to see what's planned.

Pretend you're a tourist and visit some of those places in the state you've always heard about but not yet experienced. Travelks.com is a great website, produced by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, chock-full of places to go and things to do.

"To really make your staycation fun and enjoyable, plan it out, and make a budget. If you stick to your budget, you will be able to really take advantage of all the local activities your community and nearby cities offer," added Smith.

About BMO Harris Bank Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank (sm) and M&I are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.

SOURCE M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group
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Date:May 22, 2012
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